About 30 groups in India, big industry to individual academics, are trying to develop vaccines to fight COVID-19, said Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA) to the government, Professor K Vijay Raghavan.
India has reported 6,566 new novel coronavirus cases and 194 deaths in the past 24 hours. This is the second-highest number of deaths in a 24-hour period since the outbreak began.
The total number of cases is now 1,58,333, the number of deaths linked to the infectious virus is 4,531 and the number of people who have recovered is 67,692, according to data from the Union Health Ministry this morning.
The Supreme Court today asked some hard questions about what the Centre and states have done to help the migrant workers travelling on special trains. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who was representing the Centre, faced at least 50 questions from the three-judge bench that involved food, funding, shelter and the entire logistics of transportation. "The major problem is the transportation of migrants and providing them food. The first problem is of transport. They are waiting for weeks even after registration. Are these people being asked to shell out any money at any stage? How is the state paying," the judges questioned.
Earlier this week India became the tenth most affected country following four consecutive days of record spikes in daily cases and more than 6,000 new cases being reported every day since May 21.
Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Delhi remain the worst-affected states, with Maharashtra alone reporting over 50,000 COVID-19 infections. The surge in cases comes amid easing of lockdown relaxations and the restarting of one-third of all domestic flights.
Here are the Live Updates on Coronavirus Outbreak:
Tripura: 129 people including 105 residents of the state returned from Bangladesh through Akhaura-Agartala Integrated Check Post in Agartala amid #lockdown yesterday. West Tripura MP Pratima Bhoumik said, "The returnees will be sent to 7-day quarantine & tested for COVID-19". pic.twitter.com/tWdDKBRWQP- ANI (@ANI) May 28, 2020
The Mumbai airport on Thursday operated 52 flights, including 26 outbound services, catering to more than 5,500 passengers on the fourth day of resumption of domestic air services after a two-month break.
The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport on Thursday saw a total of 52 scheduled flights which include 26 departures and 26 arrivals and connected to 16 sectors which were operated by five airlines, airport operator Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) said in a statement, reported news agency PTI.
MIAL is a joint venture between the government-owned Airports Authority of India and GVK group.
The private airport operator also said it catered to a total of 5,583 passengers which include 4,255 passengers at departures and 1,328 at arrivals.
The highest passenger load capacity was seen on the Bhubaneshwar route departing out of the Mumbai airport, MIAL added.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik urged the people of Odisha and the Odia population across the world on Thursday to sing ''Bande Utkala Janani'', a patriotic Odia song, at 5:30 pm on May 30 to express respect for the COVID-19 frontline workers.
In the video message, Mr Patnaik, while speaking in Odia, outlined how several countries regardless of their economic strength have faced difficult situations due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"When Odisha started its war against COVID-19, ensuring the safety of 4.5 crore people of this state was my sole priority. Be it any policy or action we initiated at the time, well being of my dear citizens was the only concern," said the Chief Minister.
The state has recorded 1,593 confirmed cases and seven fatalities for coronavirus, as per Union Health Ministry.
Trader's body CAIT on Thursday wrote to Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal saying no sanitisation operations have commenced in any market of the capital even 10 days after opening of shops, raising the risk of COVID-19 spread.
The traders' body said an emergency meeting of the Delhi government, police and other concerned departments should be convened with trade representatives to chalk out a strategy to combat COVID-19 in markets.
"We are constrained to bring to your kind notice that even after 10 days of opening of shops, no sanitisation operations have commenced in any market of Delhi.
"The commercial markets which is the first contact point of people are in a very shabby condition, dirt and filth can be seen anywhere, loads of garbages can also be seen in markets which have now become potential source of spreading of Corona in Delhi," the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said in its letter.
A third flight from Kazakhstan carrying 147 passengers on board arrived in Jaipur on Thursday under the Centre's mega evacuation mission amid the coronavirus-forced lockdown, an official said.
As many as 618 Rajasthan natives have reached Jaipur in six flights so far under the Vande Bharat Mission, an official said Thursday.
So far three flights have arrived from Kazakhstan, Rajasthan Additional Chief Secretary Subodh Agarwal said.
He said, "158 expatriates are arriving in Rajasthan in a second Air India flight today, while 150 are coming from Kuwait and 143 passengers will be returning to Jaipur from Ukraine."
He said that the returnees will be kept in institutional quarantine for seven days followed by home quarantine for a week.
Airport Director Jaideep Singh Balhara said coronavirus protocol was disseminated through notices pasted at different and prominent places in the airport premises.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Thursday directed the officials to provide biscuits and drinking water to migrant labourers who are travelling by Shramik special trains to their native places via the state, statement said.
Mr Baghel instructed the collectors of Raipur, Bilaspur, Rajnandgaon, Janjgir-Champa and Raigarh districts, which are on the Mumbai-Howrah rail route, to make these arrangements at the railway stations under their jurisdiction, it said.
The chief minister said that there is no facility of food and water available at the railway stations due to the ongoing coronavirus-induced lockdown.
In such circumstances, distribution of biscuits and water pouches etc, will prove to be a great relief for the migrant labourers who are travelling through special trains to their home states via the state, the release said.
Collectors have been directed to ensure availability of biscuits and water pouches in sufficient quantity for the passengers onboard these special trains, which have stoppage in their concerned districts, it said.
Three Shramik special trains carrying 4,002 stranded migrant workers have left from Katra in Jammu for Uttar Pradesh on Thursday, a spokesperson said.
With this, 30,566 migrant workers have been sent back to their native place on board Shramik Special trains from Katra since May 19, he said.
So far, the government has arranged 19 special Shramik trains to facilitate the return of migrant workers reach their home towns safely.
The ''Shramik Special'' trains are being operated primarily on the request of states, which want to send migrant workers stranded due to the COVID-19-induced lockdown, to their native places.
While the Indian Railways is bearing 85 per cent of the total cost of running each train, the rest is being borne by states in the form of fares.
The coronavirus-triggered lockdown has had a devastating impact on the economy as well as on the livelihoods of lakhs of migrant workers. The plight of migrant workers walking from several urban centres to their villages hundreds of kilometres away had grabbed headlines for almost two months.
There have been incidents of many of them being killed in road accidents. A number of migrant labourers were killed by a speeding train after they fell asleep on the tracks.
The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) sealed its headquarters in central Delhi on Thursday after three employees tested positive for COVID-19, taking the total number of infected staffers to nine.
"A Joint Director level employee has been found positive for COVID-19. Two more tested positive today. Contact tracing is being done by district authorities as per protocol. The building has been sealed. A disinfection drive will be carried out for next 48 hours," a senior NDMC official said.
"Meanwhile, all employees will be working from home till the building is completely sanitised and reopened. The employees who came in contact with those infected have been advised to observe home quarantine and report to district authorities in case they become symptomatic," the official added.
Three employees of the NDMC had tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, prompting the civic body to seal a floor of its headquarters in Lutyens'' Delhi and a section of another building housing its office in Gole Market.
The East Coast Railway (ECoR) on Thursday said it has decided to strengthen security at stations following reports of snatching of food by passengers of Shramik Special trains, ferrying stranded people to their home states from various parts of the country.
The ECoR said in a statement that over one lakh food packets are served to passengers of Shramik Special trains in its jurisdiction every day, reported news agency PTI.
The food packets are served to migrant passengers coach-wise on nominated platforms at specified railway stations.
While this system was functioning smoothly for more than three weeks, reports of snatching of food items from trolleys have now been reported from several railway stations, the statement said.
In view of such incidents, the ECoR has decided to strengthen security at stations and increase the presence of Railway Protection Force personnel (RPF) on platforms, it said.
Over 100 doctors have tested COVID-19 positive in Ahmedabad city in the last two months, an office-bearer of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) in Gujarat said on Thursday.
While many of them were already given discharge following their recovery, some others are still undergoing treatment, secretary of IMA-Gujarat, Dr Kamlesh Saini, said.
A renowned orthopaedic surgeon from the city has succumbed to the viral infection, he said.
"Those who tested positive included senior doctors. A former dean of the B J Medical College had also tested coronavirus positive," Mr Saini said.
"The number of infected doctors could be more than 100 because many of them have not come forward and informed the association about their infection," he added.
Several doctors attached to the civic-body run hospitals also tested positive during this period and around 10 of them are currently undergoing treatment, an official of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) said.
"Vaccine normally takes 10-15 years to develop and costs 200-300 million dollars. Our effort now is to do this in one year. Hence, we need to do parallel processing. Instead of working on only one COVID-19 vaccine, the world is working on over 100 vaccines at the same time," he said.
Four senior citizens, including a 90-year-old man, were discharged from different hospitals in Madhya Pradesh following their recovery, an official said on Thursday.
A 90-year-old man and an 84-year-old woman were discharged from hospitals in Indore and Bhopal, two of the worst-hit districts in the state, the official said.
While a 75-year-old man and a 70-year-old woman have also recovered following treatment at a private hospital in the state capital on Thursday, he said.
According to authorities in Indore, the nonagenarian was admitted to a private hospital on May 22 after testing positive for COVID-19 and was discharged following his recovery on Wednesday evening.
A video of the elderly patient being discharged from the hospital, with the staff showering petals on him, has gone viral on social media.
Karnataka has again suspended incoming transport from neighbouring states to contain the swift spreading coronavirus infection in the state." itemprop="description
The Congress in Karnataka today came down heavily on the B S Yediyurappa government in the state for its failure to address the grievances of the migrant labourers during the COVID-19 lockdown, as the party launched the ''Speak Up India'' nationwide online campaign against the ''cruelty of the BJP government''.
The BJP too launched a counter campaign highlighting Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "relentless battle against COVID-19," reported news agency PTI.
Responding to the party high command's call, the state Congress leaders took part in the campaign to rally behind those affected by the lockdown and posted their messages and videos on the social media platforms.
Seven more people died of coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday, while 80 fresh cases pushed the total number of COVID-19 cases in the state to 7,071, officials said.
With seven more fatalities, the total number of deaths due to COVID-19 in the state has reached 189, reported news agency PTI.
"The total number of cases reported so far are 7,071, including 4,062 who have been treated and discharged and there are 2,820 active cases. The death toll in the state has reached 189," Principal Secretary, Medical and Health, Amit Mohan Prasad told reporters.
According to health department, among the seven fresh deaths, five were from Agra and one each from Jalaun and Kushinagar.
Till Wednesday, of the 182 deaths reported, the maximum 33 were from Agra, 23 from Meerut, 15 from Aligarh, 11 each from Kanpur and Moradabad, nine from Firozabad, six from Sant Kabir Nagar, five each in Gautam Buddh Nagar and Gorakhpur and four each from Jhansi, Mathura and Varanasi.
Apart from that, three deaths each were from Ghaziabad, Basti, Prayagraj, Pratapgarh, Etah and Ayodhya and two each from Jaunpur, Lucknow, Bulandshahr, Bijnor, Azamgarh, Bareilly, Ambedkar Nagar, Chitrakoot, Mainpuri and Jalaun.
The number of COVID-19 cases in Uttarakhand climbed to 493 on Thursday as 24 more people tested positive for the disease, according to a state health department bulletin.
Ten of the fresh cases were reported from Tehri district, eight from Haridwar district and six from Dehradun district, it said, reported news agency PTI.
Most of the patients had returned from Maharashtra, the state health department bulletin said.
There are 407 active COVID-19 in the state. A total of 79 patients have recovered, four died and three migrated to other states, it said
They were resigned to their longest journey home, either on foot, or cycles, or hanging off a crowded truck. When they finally headed out, 177 migrant labourers stranded in Mumbai got a plane all to themselves." itemprop="description
The Railways should provide trains as and when the state governments put in a request, the Supreme Court said today in a series of orders to help stranded migrant labourers, whose plight has become one of the abiding images of the 60-day countrywide lockdown to control coronavirus. The railways, the court also said, will have to arrange for food and water for the migrants as long as they are on the trains." itemprop="description
Nagaland reported nine more COVID-19 cases on Thursday, taking the total number of people afflicted with coronavirus in the state to 18, Health Minister S Pangnyu Phom said.
All new patients returned to the state from Chennai on May 22 by a Shramik Special train. The train brought back 1,328 residents of the state, who were stranded in different parts of Tamil Nadu due to the lockdown imposed to contain the spread of the virus, reported news agency PTI.
"Nine more tested COVID-19 positive. All returnees from Chennai. Six are from Dimapur and three are from Tuensang district," the minister said in a tweet.
Five persons were detected with the infection on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, one Chennai-returnee was released from a quarantine centre in Kohima on Tuesday before his test results arrived, an official said.
AICTE and CSIR have embarked on a drug discovery hackathon- this is a high-end hackathon where students are trained with information on how to do computational drug discovery: Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA) to the Government of India Prof K. Vijay Raghavan pic.twitter.com/8WhIexNpW9- ANI (@ANI) May 28, 2020
Two police personnel have died and 131 more COVID-19 cases have been reported among Maharashtra police personnel, taking the total coronavirus cases in the force to 2,095.
"In the last 24 hours, 131 police personnel have tested positive for COVID-19. The total number of coronavirus cases in Maharashtra Police has risen to 2,095 with the death toll at 22," Maharashtra Police said in a statement.
There are about a total of 30 groups in India, big industry to individual academics, who are trying got develop vaccines, of around 20 are keeping a good pace: Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA) to the Government of India Prof K. Vijay Raghavan pic.twitter.com/gWQOS4kCPY- ANI (@ANI) May 28, 2020
"India's pharma industry is called pharmacy of the world. Our vaccines and medicines are sent to the world. We will win this war against coronavirus," said VK Paul, member- health, Niti Aayog
The fight against Coronavirus will be won through vaccine and drugs. Our country's science and technology institutions and pharma industry are very strong: VK Paul, Member- Health, Niti Aayog pic.twitter.com/ION2OjWw3X- ANI (@ANI) May 28, 2020
75 more COVID-19 cases have been reported from Karnataka in the last 24 hours, taking the coronavirus tally in the state to 2,493.
"28 people were discharged in Karnataka in the last 24 hours. 809 people have been discharged so far and the number of deaths is 47," the government of Karnataka said.
A total of 1,58,333 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in India. 67,692 persons have recovered or migrated, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Thursday.
24 more COVID-19 cases have been reported from Uttarakhand, taking the total number of coronavirus cases in the state to 493 on Thursday, said officials.
The doubling rate for COVID-19 cases in Uttarakhand stands at 3.99 days in the last 7 days. The recovery percentage for COVID-19 patients is 16.02 percent in the state, the health bulletin said.
As of Thursday, the state has sent 1,068 samples for COVID-19 testing, said the Uttarakhand State Control Room COVID-19.
#Goa is all about music and hospitality! How can it's police be any different. See how police officials entertain migrant workers. So far 68000 migrants have managed to leave state but about 30000 still are in state! #MigrantWorkers@DGP_Goapic.twitter.com/Tom4o8DePt- Neeta Sharma (@NEETAS11) May 27, 2020
Raising the political pitch in her battle with the centre over the handling of the coronavirus crisis, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday revealed she had told Union Home Minister Amit Shah that if he thought the state government was failing to handle the crisis properly, why didn't he try and deal with it himself."
Telangana: Sellers say sales of clay pots have gone down in Hyderabad due to COVID-19 lockdown. A seller says, "People are not buying clay pots this summer. I used to sell 100-150 pots in a day during same time last year but now, I hardly manage to sell 50 clay pots in a day". pic.twitter.com/9oW2J5SIJZ- ANI (@ANI) May 27, 2020
Odisha: A group of fitness trainers staged a demonstration in Bhubaneswar yesterday, demanding reopening of gyms amid #COVID19 pandemic. Ashish, a trainer, says, "If the govt allows us, we will make batches of our customers & sanitise the gym after every session as a precaution". pic.twitter.com/lVHMfbfnjE- ANI (@ANI) May 27, 2020